Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stuck On Repeat 2009: January

Lars Ulrich wasn't taken up on his offer to drum for Deep Purple, but an equally unwelcome job change happened as Obama appointed a record industry defence hack as associate attorney general. Feargal Sharkey took to the stage to be gratuitously insulting about copyright experts. If your customers turn up listening to the radio, the PRS told a surprised garage owner, you'll need to have a licence to cover that.

Britney Spears Twitter account was hacked and the blonde pop star appeared to say ridiculously offensive things which made no sense at all. Talking of which: Courtney Love didn't have anything against Kelly Ripa . Marketing Week announced that Courtney had got a $30million deal to sponsor her new record. She hadn't.

The Hit40 chart stopped counting CD sales, Zavvi announced plans to shrink their store network, Steve Ballmer made dark hints about the Zune's future and GM pulled plans for a 50 Cent branded car. Radar had stopped publishing just before Christmas.

In the US, electrical-and-CD store Circuit City closed what was left of its branches while the flagship Virgin Megastore was up for sale. More depressingly, Dublin's Road gave up the struggle and the Charlotte in Leicester went into administration. An even bigger hole in popular culture opened up when BBC Three confirmed Lily Allen and Friends wouldn't return.

The Mail claimed a Basingstoke radio station had been hacked by Islamic extremists angered by, erm, the playing of Cliff Richard records; the paper's pouncing on some fairly sensible remarks about drugs led to Lily Allen deciding she needed to 'clarify' what she meant. Blender tried to make Fall Out Boy sound interesting in an interview and Fall Out Boy demanded corrections. The Sun reported that Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson were on a terrorist hit list. It turned out - funny story - that the journalist who wrote the story had made the whole thing up. Like the claim that Sharon Osbourne was working Ozzy to death.

His brave-return-from-setbacks still several months in the future, Boy George got a prison sentence following that business with the rent boy and the handcuffs. Morrissey pondered if it might not be better to go early, with dignity than, say, being bottled off the few gigs you can make it through without collapsing. Gordon Smart ran a lead story about Seasick Steve, which must have disappointed his regular readers and their sports socks.

Had U2 really ripped off their sleeve design, or did it just look like it and it was all really a massive coincidence? Had 6Music ripped off their promo ads, or did it just look like it and it was all really a massive coincidence?

Simon Fuller was convinced Now That's What I Call Music was a TV format waiting to happen. Another bad idea: Doing an exclusive deal with Wal-Mart. Bruce Springsteen blamed other people and said sorry - at least Dylan only took the Co-Op's money. Busta Rhymes suggested his poor hearing had led him to making a track which used 'Arab' like it was a bad thing. The Black Lipsupset all of India and had to flee.

The Zune department at Microsoft tried to put down the rumours that they were being closed while Mark Lawson confidently predicted that Jonathan Ross would find returning to work difficult after his suspension for goosing Norris' brother. Peaches Geldof took time off from, erm, "microphone journalism on the red carpet" to push Disappear Here (did they ever get to a second issue?) and Kanye West ruled himself out doing bisexual porn.

The Silver Jews called it a day and after 25 years, Mick Harvey stepped down from The Bad Seeds but the fleeting reunion of the Jesus Lizard looked set to become permanent.

Eamonn Holmes told Rihanna that she needed a slap.